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Man gets 11 life sentences, 282 years in violent crime spree

Updated: Aug. 22, 2017 at 1:01 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A federal judge has handed down 11 life sentences, plus 282 years in prison for a Tuskegee man, convicted on 23 counts including armed robbery and carjacking.

Tariq Jones was stoic in court Tuesday morning, as the judge handed down the largest sentence in Alabama's Middle District in recent memory.

In June, the jury convicted Jones on 23 counts that represented violent armed robberies and an attempted carjacking that stretched from Alabama to Georgia.  In one instance, Jones fired shots at a truck in Prattville, missing a 3-year-old girl who was sitting in the back seat.   

Jones targeted convenience stories, and "cash-heavy" businesses during his fourth-month crime spree.

The sentence is mandatory, which gives the judge no discretion outside the statutory requirements of the 23 counts.

Jones will serve 11 life sentences concurrently, and the sentences for 12 counts consecutively which adds up to 282 years.

"Tariq Jones terrified innocent people by putting a gun in their faces and demanding money," stated Acting U.S. Attorney Morris. "He showed no regard for human life when he shot at a vehicle with a father and his 3 year old daughter inside just because he thought he was being followed. He is a violent criminal and I hope this sentence sends a clear message to other offenders that my office will use all of its power and resources to combat violent crime in our communities."

Jones made an oral motion for a new attorney after the sentence was pronounced. He stated he needed an attorney with a new perspective on the case, calling it a "miscarriage of justice".  Jones wasn't pleased his attorney didn't challenge the evidence used against him by the government, however, the judge denied that allegation, citing his defense counsel did challenge evidence.

The judge denied his motion for a new attorney, citing Jones first attorney as removed from the case at his request.

Jones' defense attorney Jon Taylor released this statement, after Tuesday's sentencing.

"Mr. Jones maintains his innocence in this case and fully intends to appeal. We feel we are on solid ground for said appeal.  As to the statutory sentence, we deeply regret the judge was bound to such a large and unreasonable sentence under the circumstance of this case.  Under the federal sentencing scheme, the judge had no discretion to give a more reasonable sentence."

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